John Goto 2002/3
Private View (unpublished) by John Goto
Written on Rome Railway Station, Aug 1993
Exhibiting Artist ...oh thanks, you keeping well?
Gallery Assistant Couldn't be better. Just moved into a new flat in Knightbridge, used to belong to Princess Di, great views.
Exhibiting Artist And the gallery?
Gallery Assistant A bit quiet at the moment but you'd expect that what with Lloyds and the bombs and the holidays. Got a strong mixed show coming up of gallery artists, then we are doing _____'s recent paintings, and then we'll be doing his recent prints.
Exhibiting Artist Showing any photography?
Gallery Assistant Well we are thinking about doing _____'s caesarean shots. There's a new book out of his work and his bizarre death has created a lot of interest. But you know photography is a washout, however much we try, just can't sell the stuff. Have you sold any of these?
Exhibiting Artist No, but they say they are confident they will.
Artist B Hey, great show. Love it. Best yet. Marvellous. Oh hi... long time, how's the gallery?
Gallery Assistant Well I was just saying we are really pushing out the boat on photography. Saw that you're showing in New York.
Artist B Well that came about in the strangest way. I was in a group show in Zurich which Ernst put together about tripod photography, not much of an idea but he's such a delightful guy, looks like Orson Wells in 'A Touch of Evil'. I just had to do it. Well they were showing Claus _____ at the same time...nice guy, it's the second time we've met, and I was out dining with Ernst when who should appear at the next table but Jenny. She handles Claus's work in America but Gunter does it in Europe...there was talk at one time about Jenny ditching him when she found out he was screwing with Gunter, but good sense prevailed. Claus isn't much of an artist, one of life's innocents but as I say a decent enough guy. So where was I, oh yes, at the next table...
Exhibiting Artist Excuse me a minute, I think I should circulate a little...
Hi, glad you could make it, how's it going?
Ex-student Not so good.
Exhibiting Artist Got anywhere to work?
Ex-student Well I've applied to D.U.M.P. and they might have something coming up in an old abattoir but there are problems with damp and no heating. But I figure that if I can get some sort of job doing nights, a security guard or something, then I can move out of home and get back to London. Evesham really pisses me off. But the worst part is not knowing what to photograph, you know...what to do. That's where I need to talk to you, I mean really talk.
Exhibiting Artist Well you've got my number haven't you, give me a ring sometime, but I always did say it would be tough.
Ex-student I know but I've tried for open exhibitions like you suggested and just get rejected, and anyway I think Lydia might be pregnant.
Exhibiting Artist Must go, give me a ring.
Gallery Owner I'm hearing some very positive things this evening but this is just the beginning. We'll place your work in a number of international collections and maybe fix up a few commissions through my friends in the City. But remember it's the foreign buyers who really count. Did I tell you that we have the largest client group of psychoanalysts in the world? They all come to us; Freudians, Slovenians, Jungians, Albanians, we have something to suit them all. It's down to trust really, clients need to trust the gallery and we offer them work that we personally believe in, at the most competitive prices. Of course it will take time. It takes five years to build an artist up to the level of ____, but we did it for him and we can do it for you...of course it might not work out but then we simply deduct the price of the frames and other expenses and return what's left of the work to you... but it isn't going to happen because I believe in your work, right from the moment I first saw the...what were they... pictures from China...
Exhibiting Artist Russia actually...
Gallery Owner ...exactly, I've known that you fit in with what I'm trying to do here, wonderful. Annie dear, how are you?
Annie Hello darling, simply great, wonderful.
Gallery Owner May I introduce the artist...
Annie Oh, hello. Now look here darling, you simply must prise yourself away from this gallery and come over and see us. He works far too hard you know, I can never get to see him in the afternoons unless I come here. He gives it his all, acts like a father to you boys.
Gallery Owner Annie is one of our most valued and discerning clients, we go back a long way...
Gallery Owner Come over here Annie, there's someone I'd like you to meet...
Critic All alone?
Exhibiting Artist Oh hi, how are you?
Critic Fine. How come you moved here?
Exhibiting Artist Oh, my last gallery were dragging their feet and I though it was time for a change.
Critic I see.
Exhibiting Artist Are you busy?
Critic Well I had to cover the Biennale, which was mixed, some interesting work from the Philippines, and the body is big everywhere. But the real fun was stopping off at Muller's gallery in Vienna where I participated in a show entitled 'Leather into Art' by pissing over one of the exhibitors at the opening.
Exhibiting Artist Really, very interesting. Could I ask if there's any chance you might write something about this?
Critic Well, I must make it clear that I'm a totally free agent, and I write only about things that I consider important. My critical integrity is of paramount importance and I'm surprised you should attempt to compromise me by asking that question.
Exhibiting Artist Sorry.
Critic Accepted, but I must say that I was surprised to receive your invitation to this. Surely you know where I stand, how could you have thought I'd be interested in this work? Quite honestly I think it totally fails to address the pressing issues of our times; issues I outline in my review of 'Leather into Art'.
Public Gallery Director Hi guys, what are you up to, pulling each other's plonkers no doubt?
Critic Chance would be a fine thing.
Public Gallery Director There's enough pricks here tonight, thought you'd be spoilt for choice.
Exhibiting Artist Glad you could make it.
Public Gallery Director Well I was in town anyway, chatting up some execs from Kitsabushi for our next nip show. Working on it with Sir _____ at the School of Orientalism, top man in his field and a chum of Lord _____ our governor. It'll be cutting edge... and of course I get a trip over there.
Exhibiting Artist I thought you might be interested in the next project I'm working on, it's about...
Public Gallery Director I'm hardly doing any solo shows these days...get more of a buzz cooking up mixed shows myself...but send me some slides. Sorry about the last lot, don't know where they went....look at the legs on that, go right up to her armpits.
Critic Be seeing you.
Public Gallery Director Which way are you going, I'll come along as far as Marble Arch.
Exhibiting Artist Bye. Thanks for coming. Bye. See you. Thanks for everything. Good luck with the show...workshop...pregnancy...PhD... job application. Goodnight all.
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